Thursday, January 5, 2017

Resuming Normal Programming

The Lantana in the Front Garden is Thriving

I started working (from home), again, today, after being off over the holidays.  Starting work always signals the end of holidays to me.  Back when I was going to school in Sri Lanka, the new school year always began in January (and ended in December), so there were lots of new beginnings associated with the new year: new uniforms, new books and school supplies, new classroom, new teacher, new classmates, etc.  No new office supplies for me (my new appointment planner is waiting for me at the office, though); however, I received a new project to work on, which is always welcome (as it means I have work to do!)  I spent my work day working on finishing up the current project and downloading files for the new project.

I did take a short lunch break during which I managed to wash a load of dishes in the dishwasher!  Yes, I managed to get the knob, which had been stuck in place for weeks, to turn!  I am thinking that something dripped down from the counter and dried in place around the knob, because something made me run the edge of my fingernail around the knob, today, and it loosened the knob so I could turn it!  I didn't see anything stuck around the knob, so I've no idea what it could have been, though.  Anyway, the dishwasher works again!  Maybe it just needed a rest!  :D  I handwashed the pots and pans, though, and the few fragile items I won't wash in the dishwasher (my tea cups, etc.)

After I finished my office work, I brought the trash can in from the curb and went for a short walk, a couple of times up and down the block in front of my house.  Yesterday, I had gone for a slightly longer walk, a couple of times around the block, but today, it was drizzling and I didn't want to walk in the rain.

Daughter and I spent a quiet New Year's Day relaxing at home.  On Monday, one of my friends called and stopped by for a visit.  She went with me to the airport to drop daughter off and then, I dropped her off at the bus stop since she planned to go to the mall to do some shopping.  I came home and packed up the leftover love cake (I sent about a third of the tray back with daughter, along with some rice, roast beef, and a few other items from the freezer; we gave away some of the cake to one of daughter's friends and there are more pieces kept aside to give to several other friends; the rest will be frozen for later).  Daughter had forgotten her umbrella at home, so she went to a drugstore once she got off the subway in Berkeley and bought a new umbrella as well as her monthly bus pass.  She needed the umbrella as it was raining in Berkeley when she arrived.  We spent the evening video chatting!  :D

Yesterday, I had the day off from work, so I just took it easy and relaxed.  I called my neighbor who was recently widowed and checked on her; I called one of my cousins and wished her for her birthday; chatted on the phone with one of my aunts while her daughter contributed to the conversation from time to time in the background; I chatted with another of my cousins; and one of my friends called to check on me.  So, lots of activity on the friends and family segments of my balanced life goals.  Later in the afternoon, I went for a walk around my block a couple of times, so approximately 25 minutes of fresh air and exercise.  Plus I've been drinking my 8 cups of water.  So, paying attention to the health goals, too.

Today, I listened to some music as I waited for work files to download; I played the piano and sang a few songs, so I am taking time to do some of the things I listed on my New Year joy list and as leisure activities in my balanced life goals.  I also emailed a friend I haven't heard from in awhile, I exchanged emails with another friend (we have been exchanging almost daily emails for several years), received an email and a card from a niece, and of course, video chatted with my daughter. 

On the financial front, the first four days of the New Year have been "no spend" days.  I don't really plan "no spend" days; it's just that I haven't needed to buy anything, yet.  I do plan on spending some money before the week is over, because I need to put gas to the car and I want to buy a few groceries.  I am planning to eat from the abundance that is my freezer and pantry as much as I can, this month, but I need to buy some fresh produce, bread, eggs, etc.

Today, I am grateful for the following blessings:
- Continued employment and a new work assignment - my job enables me to support myself, gives me health care benefits, and so much more.
- Being able to work from home for this week, as well; gives me a few more days to get myself organized to return to the office.
- My dishwasher is working again!  Nothing was wrong with it, except a stuck in place knob!
- Keeping in touch with daughter, family, and friends.
- More rain for the garden!  I heard on the news that we're now at normal rain fall for this time of the year!  Maybe the drought is finally over?  It has been raining steadily all evening and more is expected in the forecast.

I really didn't write down a to do list for today, but here's one for Thursday:

- Office work - call supervisor; answer emails; start working on new assignment
- Empty dish washer/put away dishes and baking trays
- Wipe kitchen counters
- Sweep kitchen floor/mop
- Mail the last of the greeting cards
- Call health benefits re. new insurance cards (haven't received them yet and I need them to get refills on my prescriptions!)
- Clean the litter box
- Start taking down some of the holiday decorations

How was your day?  Are you able to ease back into the regular routines after the holidays?  Or are you finding it difficult to resume regular programming? 


  1. So happy that your dishwasher is working for you, and without the assistance of a technician who would have charged you big bucks just for being a shadow in your doorway. You probably don't often use your dishwasher, but what a blessing to have it working when you do want to use it.

    So you didn't write down a "To-Do" list for Wednesday, but I can see in the accomplishments where your Goals list and your Joy list is guiding the list "in your head"....always in the background. That is ideally how we want our goals to guide us.

    I am glad your daughter got back home safely and that you had a day before having to start work again right away. I usually feel ambivalent when company leaves. I feel kind of lost and without direction for a short time, so I am glad you are able to ease back into a routine.

    1. Susan, you are right, I don't use the dishwasher all that often, although I've been told I should run it at least once a week and I try to. I have to collect the dishes for a couple of days, at least to feel I have enough items to wash, especially when I am alone. But having a working dishwasher is definitely a blessing.

      Yes, the house does feel a bit empty with daughter gone, but we chat on-line daily, so it's like she's in the same room with me. :) I am assuming your son has left by now and you are getting used to having your house back?

      I'm glad I am able to ease back into working again. It's always hard to return to work from a vacation.

      Hope all is going well with you, Susan. Keeping you and your husband in my prayers.

  2. So happy daughter had a safe trip back home..
    Proud you are getting back into the groove of the holidays being over..It is always kinda sad to me, when Christmas is over. But, then, I get all the decorations put up, and start the cleaning, and first thing you know.. I am ready to get the new year started.
    I am so happy the dishwasher started working again..[like getting an unexpected Christmas gift. smile].. I dont use my dishwasher all the time, but sure is nice on those days...I just plain ole dont want to wash dishes..ha.
    The weather channel is predicting snow for us tonight, so we went to town and bought some bread [I had very little left]. Some fruit etc. Since moving out in the country, and being futher away from a store.. I felt we needed to do this.. We live on a gravel road, and the freeze will last longer and the roads might be untraveable?? Any way just a preparation.
    Now.. I am planning on mopping the kitchen and bathroom.. Doing some laundry, and maybe a little sewing later. Didn't make a to do list.. but just taking it as needed.. [I really need to make my weekly to do list. this really helps ]..Hope you have a good day..

    1. Thank you, Judy. She's getting to be quite the pro, traveling to and from the airports! But I still worry, of course, especially these days when it is dark by the time she reaches there. I keep the altar light on for her from the time she calls to say she's boarded the plane till she calls to say she's arrived at the Oakland airport and again, from then till she calls to say she's reached her apartment (she has another hour and a half of travel from the airport to her apartment, by 2 subway rides and a bus ride - or, sometimes, she chooses to walk instead of waiting for the bus).

      Taking down the holiday decorations makes me feel sad, too. But the house looks decluttered when the decorations are down, so that is nice, too.

      Glad you were able to stock up on bread and fruit, etc. before the snow fell!

      Hope you get through your house cleaning quickly so you'll have more time to sew! Stay safe and warm, Judy.

  3. I love pictures of your garden.

    I think starting the school year in January makes a lot more sense than starting in September. You sound so positive, I'm really glad. x

    1. Thank you, Lyssa. It's been one month since "The Fall" and I am slowly getting my self-confidence back. :)

  4. I found this and thought you might find it interesting

    1. Oh, I do like it! It calls for 18 eggs, too! It it sounds a lot like our rich cake - currants, nuts, candied peel, and spices. Except rich cake calls for preserved chayote squash (known as "chow-chow") and semolina flour; but then, semolina is made of wheat, so it's about the same thing, isn't it? Thank you for the link - love these old recipes!

  5. You got so much done! This week has felt semi-real to me; I'm back working regularly but school doesn't start until next week.

    I like that you are working in your joy list items as part of your regular day rather than waiting for a special time to make them happen.

    1. Enjoy this week while you can! You'll be busy when school starts!

      I never feel like I got a lot done! I only see what I didn't get done! I did A, B, and C - oh, but I didn't do D,E,F through X,Y,Z! Sigh.

      Yes, need to incorporate the joy into everyday activities as much as I can, to make it happen. Make time for joy! :)

      Hope all is well with you, Laura, and your husband. (((HUGS)))

  6. Funny how appliances decide to stop and then start working again, isn't it? My BFF was telling me today that, oddly enough, her over the range microwave will only heat up if she puts something heavy in the center of the turntable. If she just puts a cup, it won't heat up. It's just weird because I wasn't aware that the turntable had anything to do with heating up the food... I heated up items in mine without the turntable being in and it was fine. In any case, I'm happy that it's working for you again!

    And more rain! Lovely! I think you had a good and balanced day today, Bless and I wish you the same for tomorrow.

    1. I guess the knob was stuck due to something dripping down but I didn't think of that when I couldn't turn the knob and thought the machine was broken. Now, if there is a similar easy reason why my dryer is not heating up, that would be lovely! :)

  7. You sound so cheerful and upbeat, Bless! A great way to start the new year! What a blessing that your dishwasher is working again. You may be able to temove the knob by pulling it gently. Then can wash in warm soapy water to prevent it from sticking again. Just a thought!

    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Glad I sound cheerful and upbeat. :) I don't know if I dare to pull the dishwasher knob all the way out! Knowing me, I'll probably end up causing it to leak from there every time I use the dishwasher! :D

  8. Your Lantana is lovely. It has always been one of my favorite flowers. :) I'm so glad you have been getting so much rain after your drought. We are back to normal "precipitation" amounts up here due to the snow now and it looks like we should not have a horrendous upcoming fire season like we have the past 2 Summers.

    I'm glad to see that you are so happy to be returning to work again and that you are getting some of your energy back. Your life sounds very full of blessings with your friends and family too. I am so pleased for you!

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Talk to me in another couple of weeks and we'll see how happy I am about returning to work! LOL. But, truly, I do enjoy my work. :)

      As for family and friends, I focus on the positives. I have had a lot of ups and downs with family and friends. There are some who haven't spoken to me for years. Others were "too busy" (read "couldn't be bothered") to visit me when I was undergoing treatment. Many have disappointed me, time and time again. Sometimes, it hurts. Occasionally, it gets me down. Sometimes, I complain to a friend. But, for the most part, I try to shrug it off. I will say, "cousin visited me" when she does, but if she doesn't, then, I don't say, "cousin didn't visit me". :)

  9. I was reading again about the goodies you send back with your daughter when she goes back to Berkeley, and realized that this is something we have in common as I always have something I can send home with DS,DDIL and DGD when they visit us. I can't imagine not having anything to share with them for their busy lives.


    1. I guess we mothers always worry about our children eating proper meals, and so forth! No matter how old they get! :)

      When daughter came here, this time, she emptied out her fridge because she was going to be gone for 10 days. She cooked and froze what she could and brought a few fresh items with her so they wouldn't spoil. When she goes back, she usually takes an afternoon flight, which leaves here a little after 3:30 p.m., which arrives at Oakland around 4:45 p.m. Then, by the time she takes the subway, transfers to the connecting subway, and rides the bus or walks to her apartment, it is about 6:30 p.m. or later. Then she needs to go to the convenience store across the street to buy milk or half & half for her morning coffee. But she doesn't have time to do grocery shopping until after work the next day, at the earliest (there's a Trader Joe's near the bus stop close to her office). Plus she needs to prepare something for her dinner and her lunch, the next day.

      This time, she said she kept two frozen tamales in the freezer for her lunch the following day (she takes her lunch to work, every day except Wednesday, when she treats herself to buying lunch). And she warmed up and ate some of the rice I had sent with her, for her dinner. It meant she could wait to cook for another day or two. :)


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